Cheers!

After nearly a decade helping backstage, it's time for me to rejoin the audience.

I've spent years making myself replaceable in Chicago naked ride production, and have equipped the ride well to allow me to retire. With safety vests and body paints, power cables, duct tape and tools neatly stowed. With an exceptional emailing list, solid web site, free hosting, and social networks thriving. With volunteer wrangling software, support groups, listservs and SMS network running. With bank account, donation handling and gift shop working. With artwork, stickers, flyers and promotional tools ready. And checklists, notes and files galore.

I can finally live my long held dream, where on ride day my main duty is artistically body painting myself and a friend or two.
I also need more time for demanding projects such as Bedno.com/bike, other activism, hooping, etc.

But frankly also, I'm exhausted by the drama. Many encouraged I not leave because of one unruly child, but he and ilk are a factor. And though he's loudest, the din all around is too disquieting.

So I'm concluding the process of unwinding my production involvement.*

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    1. Replace me: chicagonakedride.org/ops
      Ask for the logins and passwords.
    2. Use the ToDo: chicagonakedride.org/todo
      It's been the evolving production worklist forever.
    3. Get volunteers: chicagonakedride.org/volunteer
      And use the Drupal/MailMan/FB/GroupMe tools.
    4. Read chicagonakedride.org/about and more.
      Especially newbs.

    CLOSING


    As someone very in touch with Chicago events I heard of the ride in it's first year, 2004, but couldn't go, and set a reminder for 2005. In its second year we tracked it down on inline skates and almost weren't allowed on. Soon after we contacted Aurora eager to help. There was a good network of friends contributing, but her part had become overwhelming. We took a pile of files and ideas and advice, and built the mailing list and website and flyers and such, coordinated place and volunteers and route leader, and by 2006 Aurora was free to just ride. Being fairly organized and I.T. skilled, over the years I built comprehensive documentation and tools. The whole How-To is transparently available online.

    As the master of Info, I accepted the "coordinator" title. Given intense and creative volunteers, a structure of largely autonomous teams seemed right, security being the largest. In early years, more experienced riders naturally helped escort. In a few years Rat Patrol volunteered. Turnout exploded but in the record 2008 ride there were still only a dozen safety vested riders. Through a stretch of wonderful years the ride bloomed and much joy was spread, but spectator problems and security also grew, and the unity of vision blurred. By 2013 (the tenth anniversary) there were over 60 clothed and safety vested security riders whose performance was powerful, but also something was lost. With new actors and roles and a bit of rewrite, I have confidence in the 2014 season, but on that adventure I must bid the ride my best and see it on the other side.

    In Love, Andrew Bedno.